Poem by Enzo Silon Surin

November 2013

The Ethereal Hour Elegy


There are times when the night is bad
but the sleep good, when in the womb-
shack of the city, dormant as a seed,
we nestle in a succulent dream—

the wet carcass of a blue tarp as second
skin—when tears are notably reliable
and drain the body of a toxin once kin—
these are nights when the night is good

but the sleep bad—when we wonder
if I cried who would hear me but the moon?
allayed with the question: good nights
and bad dreams or the antipode? I answer

the body’s an experience; I answer take a look—
those mountains, less than a mile from here,
slopes rising up in the meanest air as though
they were building a way out of no way . . .

does it help to know this is how we spend
our time, a strange math on our tongues?
Conceiting often gets an upper hand. I answer
how much longer will you search for meaning

in clouds, neglecting the moon? Can no longer
say what it is like here—many times we have
assigned words, set out in your direction,
and we never hear whether they arrive or not.


Enzo Silon Surin, a Haitian-born poet and social advocate,  earned an MFA in creative writing, poetry from Lesley University and is the author of the chapbook Higher Ground (Finishing Line Press, 2006), which was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award.